Accreditation by AQAS
Through the implementation of a system accreditation, the university’s quality management system is certified. Very high standards are applied in this process. Checks are carried out to ascertain that all the formal requirements for the bachelor’s and master’s programs are adhered to. Evidence must be provided that all the internal structures and processes guarantee a high quality in the programs and that a systematic procedure is in place which is used to continuously evaluate and develop the degree programs on offer.
System accreditation is a very complex procedure that demands high standards from the whole university. One of the rewards is the autonomy the university gains. Another one is that the university as an institution commits itself to high quality standards and systematically strives to achieve them.
The AQAS accreditation committee has granted system accreditation to Nürtingen-Geislingen University on 13 November 2013 and awarded the accreditation council’s seal.
Nürtingen-Geislingen University has therefore successfully completed the system accreditation process. Having been awarded system accreditation, the University is now entitled to accredit its own degree programs provided all the relevant legal requirements are adhered to, and to award these programs with the accreditation council’s seal.
In Germany, Nürtingen-Geislingen is the fifteenth university of applied sciences to be system accredited. In Baden-Württemberg it is in 4th place.
On November 13, 2013, the Accreditation Commission of AQAS granted system accreditation to NGU and awarded the seal of the Accreditation Council.
Nationwide, NGU is the 15th university to be system accredited, in Baden-Württemberg NGU is ranked 4th.
Current status and perspectives
As part of the system accreditation, Nürtingen-Geislingen University has developed an internal procedure for accrediting its own degree programs: the so-called ‘quality dialog’. This is where, on the basis of a formalized quality portfolio, the programs present their achievements and their current development stage to the Rectorate. The points that are also relevant in an external accreditation process are discussed. In this context, the evaluation carried out by external experts who assist the programs as advisors is taken into account. The feedback received from students from within and without the university is also taken into consideration in this ‘quality dialog’. The result of the dialog is documented in an agreement between the Rectorate and the degree program; it might contain certain conditions and deadlines and when these must be met.
By now, all of Nürtingen-Geislingen University’s degree programs have undergone this ‘quality dialog’ several times. In most cases, only very few additional conditions have been imposed.
During the course of these processes, the ‘quality portfolio’ and ‘quality dialog’ methods were continuously developed. For example, the students have been involved more in the process, the documentation of the external experts’ involvement has been defined more clearly and the University’s internal quality assurance provisions for the degree programs have been stipulated in a quality control ordinance.
In December 2016, Nürtingen-Geislingen University submitted its report for the interim evaluation to AQAS. In June 2017, AQAS’ accreditation committee approved the report submitted for the interim evaluation.
It is fair to say that the internal quality assurance processes have proven successful and that they are suitable tools for further improving the quality of the degree programs at Nürtingen-Geislingen University. Nürtingen-Geislingen University is therefore in a good position for the next system accreditation in 2022.
For this system accreditation, Nürtingen-Geislingen University in conjunction with Hochschule der Medien Stuttgart (HdM) and Hochschule Furtwangen (HFU) has applied for an alternative procedure which was commenced at the end of 2020.